Product Focus: Printing & Decorating
Change-over speed, ease continue to dominate web printing line design
Rotomec’s MW80 gravure printing press is designed to cut waste to a minimum.
The just completed Interpack 2008 packaging fair in Düsseldorf, Germany highlighted a number of printing premieres that are having impact on the market. Processing equipment maker Windmöller & Hölscher (Lengerich, Germany) demonstrated its Miraflex C central impression (CI) flexographic press, that is specifically designed to cover the core segment of applications with regard to repeat length, printing width, and output.
This highly-automated unit features ease of handling and special detailed solutions such as sleeve nip rolls and weight-reducing doctor blade chambers. It is available with eight or 10 color decks and has a printing width range from 1000 – 1450 mm. Processors can use the line not only for plastic film printing but also laminates, paper, and aluminum foil.
The Miraflex C compliments a number of units the manufacturer also demonstrated last year prior to K 2007 at its R&D facility in Lengerich. Top of the shopping list of processors that print film is short make-ready times of flexographic printing equipment to ensure increased up-time and higher productivity. While job changeover on the 8-color Astraflex printing line using the Portalift cylinder change system has been improved, the company’s latest design, the Port-A-Sleeve unit with turret cart, not only speeds production (accomplished at 600m/min.) but makes changeover easier on the 10-color Novoflex CM line.
Equipped with the optional Pre-Make Ready (PMR) system, unused printing decks of both machines can be set up for the next job and integrated into the running production without stopping the machine. The company says that a 6-to-6 color job change, including automatic impression and register setting can be completed in less than 10 min.
Rotomec (San Giorgio Monferrato, Italy), part of the Swiss-based Bobst Group, says that a fundamental factor today among plastics film printers is the need to reduce material waste by insuring accuracy and correction speed of the register control system during all stages of the printing process. To achieve this, the company’s gravure printing presses, such as the RS2002 for short to medium production runs, feature the HDI (High-Dynamic-Interface) system that integrates the electronic line shaft with the press’ register control. This feature, integrated via a communication interface at mind-boggling speeds of millions of bit/sec., results in as much as five times faster register correction than conventional systems, says the company.
Ease of operation, extensive automation, and effective detail solutions are the characteristic features of the new Miraflex C central impression flexographic press from Windm√∂ller & H√∂lscher.
For mature markets increasingly looking for short or ultra short run equipment, Rotomec has developed the MW60/80 (MW = Minimized Waste) printing press. The unit’s dryers, claimed to be the first of this type on the market, and automation features bring about a 50% shorter web path length in the press compared to conventional electronic shaft presses and more than 65% compared to mechanical shaft presses. The MW system promises 45% less material waste and 75% less ink discarded in printing medium web on very short runs.
From Polytype (Fribourg, Switzerland) comes a tube decorating machine, model RDA X, with integrated flexographic printing station. It enables decoration with eight dry-offset colors plus a print oriented ninth flexo ink application. The design of the flexo deck with a short ink path (ink duct with doctor blade to a gravure roller to a flexo printing plate and then to a direct ink transfer to the tube) enables a heavier ink lay down in comparison to dry offset, resulting in a better ink coverage.
Fischer & Krecke (Bielefeld, Germany) presented at K last October its first 10-color flexo press using the WetFlex process developed by Sun Chemicals. This system uses radiation cured inks that are applied wet-on-wet to the substrate. The new WetFlex press features a print width of 1350mm and repeat lengths of 320-1050mm. The different properties of the WetFlex inks require changes to the automatic inking and wash-up system. Inks have to be temperature controlled to insure the right processing during different production conditions.
Fischer & Krecke GmbH & Co. KG
Polytype AG/Decorating Division
Windmöller & Hölscher